Lucy, 48, has been a swimming teacher for the last 12 years, owning her own swim school, The Grange Farm Swim School. Lucy explains how her love of swimming helped develop her business after a career change.
Lucy has always been involved in swimming; as a teenager she was a competitive club swimmer, winning awards for her county and nationally. She went on to swim for the University of Nottingham. On graduating, Lucy worked as an investment banker, but after 12 years she wanted to make a change to her life and moved out of London. Lucy says:
“It was always my dream to have my own pool, and as I grew tired of London I completely reassessed my life for both me and my young family.”
“We moved to Norfolk and I was lucky enough to have the means to custom build my own pool at home. At first my pool, which measures 20 meters x 2.5 meters, was very much for my personal use, as I continued to compete in masters swimming competitions. However, more and more friends and acquaintances asked if they could learn to swim at my pool. At the time, I was looking after my young children and thought perhaps opening a swim school would make good business sense, as I could balance it around my family life. I decided the time was right and I’ve never looked back.”
Lucy completed her SEQ Level 1 and Level 2 Swimming Teacher qualification, as well as undertaking additional qualifications in Pool Plant and Health and Safety. She says: “I really enjoyed my training, the tutors were very helpful and enthusiastic, and over time I have completed many CPD’s to help with my swim school business, including safeguarding, adult swimming lessons and supporting people with disabilities to learn to swim.
“My Swim School has gone from strength to strength and I currently have 600 students learning to swim each week, with 20 after-school and weekend lessons, adult swimming, baby and pre-school sessions, as well National Curriculum school swimming, specialist lessons for children with disabilities, including autism and ADHD, children’s swimming parties and aquafit.
“My pool is booked from 7am to 10pm and I even have to pre-book time for my own personal use! I’ve been blown away at how my business has grown over the years. After a year of opening I had to employ staff, and I now have a team including five part-time teachers, an administrator, a cleaner – plus I still teach for 15 hours a week.”
Lucy is particularly proud of how her swim school bounced back post lockdowns/Covid. She explains: “Naturally I was gutted when I had to temporarily close my school, and then all the restrictions impacted how many pupils I could have at the pool at any one time. But I’m so pleased to be back and am operating more profitably than pre-Covid. With clever timetabling, my waiting list is now shorter than it was a year ago, which is really positive.
“I love how my swim school has had a positive impact on the community around me. Owning and running my own swim school has embedded me in the local area. I’ve met so many people and have been privileged to watch local families grow and blossom over the years. It’s wonderful to see how a learners’ confidence grows with dedicated and professional teaching. I’m delighted to be able to support children and young people on a pathway to club swimming and beyond.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled to now be in the position to build a second pool on my land, which will be an all-year outside pool, allowing me to offer an even more varied aquatic programme.”
“After all these years, I still have a deep love and passion for swimming and I’m committed to sharing this with others. Swimming has provided me with so much happiness and joy over the years – and there is nothing better than passing this love on to the next generation.”